iRobot Roomba Discovery Floorvac
Credit: iRobot; Herbst LaZar Bell Inc (HLB)
In 2002, iRobot introduced the first robot to perform a domestic chore most consumers dread, vacuuming. The company built their reputation selling these robotic floorvacs to early adopters. As that market became saturated, the challenge became to provide a design solution that was attractive to consumers who might be intimidated by a technology. The team had to develop a form that didn't say “robot,” but rather “friend.” Simplicity is incorporated into every feature and control, and it requires absolutely no programming. It understands how to navigate its way through a room, even to the extent that it won’t fall down the stairs. The new design has given the brand a true identity with consumers and is flying off the shelves in mass retailers across the country. iRobot has already sold more than a million Roomba robotic floorvacs since the initial launch.